Obituary of Raymond G. Ritthamel
Raymond George “Ray” Ritthamel, born in Chicago and a lifelong Bears fan passed away peacefully at age 90 on December 24th, 2021 of natural causes in Melbourne, Florida. He had his wit and playful attitude until the end, but his battle with the results of congestive heart failure were just too much.
He was preceded in death by his wife Mildred, the mother of his three sons, as well as his former wife Isobel.
Ray leaves behind his loving wife Nita (he'd always say "just Nita, Not A-Nita'); children David Ritthamel (Nancy), John Ritthamel (Karen), Steven Ritthamel (Kimberly), Deborah Drown (Gary), Laurie Carroll (Jim), and Kenneth Shields (Ana); grandchildren Alexander Ritthamel, Ryan Ritthamel, Mallory Ritthamel, Jackson Ritthamel, Sienna Ritthamel, Lindsay West, Rachel Ying, James Carroll, Taylor Carroll, Shannon Dummett, Tighe Carroll, and Desiree Shields; and 13 great-grandchildren. All of us will miss him dearly.
After marrying Mildred Cimaglia from Madison, NJ, he served in the Army at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. After his service, he was climbing telephone poles for the local electric company before “bucket trucks” were invented. Through the years he was given many awards and recognitions, and eventually worked his way through the ranks to become Director of Safety & Security for General Public Utilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania where he assisted in the clean-up of the Three Mile Island nuclear incident. His hard work put his three boys through college and he was always there if you needed him. He was a charter member at the Holmes Regional Medical Center Heart wing and was a significant donor and active member of St John’s Catholic Church. A cheer cart and welcome host volunteer at several hospitals in the Melbourne area, he brought a smile to many a face.
As children, we remember him bringing home videos of horrific motorcycle accidents to discourage us from ever riding one. “Resussi-Annie” seemed to be a regular visitor, too, as we practiced our CPR on the living room floor over and over and over. The taste of the alcohol wipes for cleaning her mouth is still fresh on our lips.
Ray always had fun with people, and his jokes got more colorful with the years. Always the host, he had a fully stocked bar at the ready for anyone who visited. Family parties were always at “The Ritts” and he liked to enjoy his Manhattan.
A viewing will be held on Friday, January 7th at Ammen Family Cremation and Funeral Care (1001 South Hickory Street Melbourne, FL) from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. with a mass at St John’s Catholic Church on Saturday, January 8th at 10A.M. (5655 Stadium Parkway, Viera FL). After being transferred to New Jersey, he will be laid to rest beside his children’s mother Millie with a brief Military graveside service on Saturday January 15th at 10A.M. It will be at the St Vincent’s Cemetery in Madison, NJ. All are welcome to these services.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.